Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Goonies On NES: Tougher Than Sloth

In 1987, Konami released The Goonies II for the NES, and it confused the hell out of American gamers. This game had Goonies in the title, but it seemed as though it was a sequel to the movie. The it was learned that there was indeed a game that followed the events of the movie. It was made by Konami and was released on the Famicom, but for whatever reason, it was never released in the US. While the first game remains true to the original film(in a sense), the second seemed like a blind attempt at a cash, but it was a good one. Goonies II felt like it was as big as Metroid, but many consider it to be as confusing as Castlevania II, with multiple doorways that send players to all manner of random locations. It's very easy to get lost and to lose sight of what you're main objective is.

That leads to the story, what exactly was the plot of the second game? Well, much like the first Goonies game, players control Mikey, but this time, you're charged with rescuing the other Goonies as well as a Mermaid from the Fratelli's. As we saw in the first movie, and in the first game for those who played it, the Fratelli's hideout sits on top of a massive cavern filled with branching caves and booby traps, but in Goonies II, that cavern is taken to an extreme, with different caverns seemingly taking you to different parts of the world. There are jungle caves, frozen caverns, molten pits and anything else that shouldn't be under an abandoned restaurant in the Pacific Northwest. That's just a case of game designers getting creative though, so it gets a pass.

Konami's "big single level with backtracking" game design that was prominent in Castlevania II is also present here, and it proved as frustrating for gamers with this title as it did the last time. This game simply did not feel like little kids should be attempting it, or some adults for that matter. I've always considered myself a bit of a masochist when it comes to some of my gaming choices, but some games were not meant to be played by a 9 year old version of myself.

Goonies II was a faithful continuation of the story portrayed in the first game and the film it was based on, but alas, it proved to be so hardcore that it drove gamers away. I recommend this one for those who want to take an old school RPG approach to their gaming. To beat Goonies II, you need to make maps, document item locations, and be a tireless gamer. It probably would hurt to have Chunk around to do the truffle shuffle either.

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